Customs and International Trade (Certificate)

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This certificate is designed to provide those with a baccalaureate degree an enhanced level of knowledge in customs and international trade. It will provide graduates with the skillsets in this field to allow them to become more competitive in the global environment.

  • Admission Requirements

    Step #1: Submit a UTRGV Graduate Application at The university application fee of $50 can be paid online by credit card or electronic check (in the online application). All application fees are nonrefundable.

    Step #2: Request your official transcripts to be sent electronically to or mailed to:

    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    The Graduate College
    Marialice Shary Shivers Bldg. 1.158
    1201 W. University Drive
    Edinburg, TX 78539-2999

    *Please Note: If you are a graduate of UTPA, UTB/TSC, or UTRGV you do not need to request an official transcript to be sent to the Graduate College.

    Review and submit all Program Requirements:

    • Bachelor's  degree  from  a  regionally  accredited  institution  in  the United States or a recognized international equivalent in a similar or related field.
    • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. If the applicant does not meet the minimum undergraduate GPArequirement of 3.0, GRE scores on the general test of 150 Verbal, 141 Quantitative, and 4.0 Analytical must be submitted. GRE test score is valid for 5 years.
    • Official transcripts from each institution attended (must be submitted directly to UTRGV).
    • Minimum 3 years applicable experience.
    • Resume

    Students whose native  language is not English  or  who studied at a University outside the U.S.:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. For additional information, visit the English Proficiency Exam section of our website.
    • English translation of educational records.
    • Transcript Evaluation by the Foreign Credentials Service of America (FCSA) or the World Education Services (WES) . For additional information, visit the Academic Credentials/Transcripts Evaluation section of our website.


    • SEVP regulations prohibit the issuance of a Form I-20 based on conditional admission, effective July 13, 2016. University officials can only issue a Form I-20 when students have met all standards for admission for the program of study listed on the Form I-20. These standards for admission include any English proficiency requirements.
  • Program Contact

    Program Director: Dr. E. Thomas Coyle, Jr.

    Phone: 956-882-7838   

    Office: Brownsville Campus, MAIN 2436

  • Deadlines

    Fall Spring Summer I Summer II
    Application Deadline: April 15 October 1 March 1 March 1

    Note: Students admitted only to a Certificate Program are not eligible to obtain a Student Visa from UTRGV.

  • Program Costs

    Flat fee of $6,000 for entire certificate program.

  • Course Requirements

    Required Courses 12
    INTB 6322: Topics in Management-International Custom Law 3
    INTB 6322: Topics in Management Commercial Transactions Law and Policy 3
    INTB 6322: Topics in Management-United States Customs Law and Border Regulation 3
    INTB 6322: Topics in Management-Principles of Compliance Management 3
    Total hours required for completion: 12

    Course Descriptions

    INTB 6322: Topics in Management-International Customs Law               [3-0]

    This course introduces students to the relationship between the domestic responsibilities of customs and border regulatory administrations and the international legal obligations to which they give effect. The course addresses customs and national sovereignty, the relationship between domestic customs law and international law, and territorial jurisdiction and border concepts. The course also examines the international organizations, treaties and conventions that impact on custom activities, with particular focus on the impact of the World Customs Organization (WCO), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations. Students will become familiar with the Convention establishing the Customs Cooperation Council/WCO, the Revised Kyoto Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures, the WCO’s Framework on Supply Chain Security, and the UN Drug Conventions and other border-related treaties and conventions.

    INTB 6322: Topics in Management-Commercial Transactions Law and Policy              [3-0]

    This course introduces students to the commercial issues associated with business transactions involving the movement of goods across international borders and the ways in which such commercial issues impact customs and border regulatory requirements as well as supply chain cost efficiency.  Students will become familiar with international transportation processes in multiple modes, examine commercial and legal aspects of the international sale and carriage of goods, terms of trade (INCOTERMS®) and apportionment of risk, the financing of international transactions (including letters of credit), liability, insurance and related matters. Students will also learn how to identify sources of information about international business transactions and apply their knowledge to their work as administrators or compliance managers; in particular they will learn how to increase their ability to deal effectively with key issues of international trade contracts, terms of trade, and associated matters as they relate to business management and the regulatory management of the cross-border movements of goods.

    INTB 6322: Topics in Management –United States Customs Law And Border Regulation              [3-0]

    This course examines the legal underpinnings of US Customs Las in the Constitution and federal law, key statutory developments in the 20th Century through the present day, and follow the historical development of US Customs from its founding in 1789 to its present-day status as US Customs and Border Protection, a unit of the Department of Homeland Security. Students will be given a comprehensive overview of US obligations to declare goods on import and export and the roles and responsibilities of commercial parties, carriers and service providers in the cross-border environment. Customs duties and fees will be examined, along with US trade remedies, duty relief and deferral programs and preferential trading arrangements, including NAFTA. Post 9/11 supply-chain security related measures will be reviewed, as will key import safety-related restrictions and reporting requirements. The course will cover issues related to the filing of export declarations and provide an introductory overview of US export controls.

    INTB 6322: Topics in Management–Principles of Compliance Management              [3-0]

    This course introduces students to contemporary methods of regulatory compliance management and the use of risk management principles in ensuring regulatory compliance from the perspective of government regulator as well as from the perspective of business. Students are introduced to compliance management policies and practices that achieve an appropriate balance between facilitation and regulatory control in the government context, and cost-effective compliance in the business context. This includes an analysis of international trends that impact on regulatory compliance management, such as emerging technologies, commercial imperatives and security-and-safety-related concerns. Comparisons are drawn between the compliance management strategies employed by customs authorities in leading economics as well in corporate environments, including through the use of case studies. Compliance metrics and reporting methodologies are analyzed in the public and private sector context of the course participants. From a government perspective, issues related to intra-agency, international, and private-sector cooperation and building management support for compliance initiatives is a subject of focus, as is effective interaction with government.